The Crippled America hashtag started an important conversation. It's not the one Trump intended.

Like so many words centered on impaired bodies, "cripple" has a negative connotation.

So when presidential candidate Donald Trump managed to both insult a reporter who has a physical disability and release a book titled "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," you can bet Disability Twitter responded.


Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The #CrippledAmerica tweet-in started in a blog post by Nina G., who was, at that time, the world's only stuttering stand-up comedian.

She wrote:

“In protest to Trump's initial remarks of Kovaleski and subsequent comments about how much money he has spent on people with disabilities, I propose we have a TWEET-IN protest (just like a sit-in).

To help educate Trump and the rest of the US about the American Disability experience, tweet #CrippledAmerica (a hash tag he has used to publicize his book released this month).

Share your experiences of life, love, barriers, employment, parenting, sex, art and everything else that represents real Disabled Americans! Let's make our experiences heard! #CrippledAmerica #DisabilityPride #Empowerment"



Folks started tweeting about their American disability experiences immediately after reading Nina's blog.

They "hijacked" Trump's hashtag like she suggested, using it to share their daily lives with the world:

Thousands of tweets later, Twitter is full of everyday details about living with a disability.

The tweets cover everything from health care to social norms to job interviews and, of course, Trump.

Some folks also wanted to remind Trump that it's not just that America is crippled — it's that he actually needs "Crippled America," too.

To Mr. Trump, I'll say this: Americans with disabilities want you to know that supporting Crippled America is one important route to making America great again.

Please try it out.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

How we talk about Black Lives Matter protests across America is often a reflection of how we personally feel about the fight for racial equality itself. We're all biased toward our own preferences and a fractured news media hasn't helped things by skewing facts, emphasizing preferred narratives and neglecting important stories, oftentimes out of fear that they might alienate their increasingly partisan and entrenched audiences.

This has been painfully clear in how we report on and talk about the protests themselves. Are they organized by Antifa and angry mobs of BLM renegades hell bent on the destruction of everything wholesome about America? Or, are they entirely peaceful demonstrations in which only the law enforcement officers are the bad actors? The uncomfortable truth is that both extreme narratives ignore key facts. The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.protests have been peaceful. The facts there are clear. And the police have also provoked acts of aggression against peaceful demonstrators, leading to injuries and unnecessary arrests. Yet, there have been glaring exceptions of vandalism, intimidation and violence in cities like Portland, Seattle, and most recently, Louisville. And while some go so far as to quite literally defend looting, that's a view far outside the mainstream of nearly all Americans across various age, racial and cultural demographics.

But what if we step away from the larger philosophical debate and narrow things down to one very important fact: the vast majority of those stirring division at protests are white.

And if you don't believe me, just listen to Durham, North Carolina's mayor and what he had to say about how white people are "hijacking" Breonna Taylor's legacy and transforming a movement that has suddenly split Americans after having near unanimous support just a few months ago.


Keep Reading Show less